Belt and Road Forum: China’s Difficult Path toward International Economic Cooperation

The organization of the two-day "Belt and Road” Forum in Beijing, China, on May 14-15, signifies an extensive agenda and symbolizes China’s outward-looking world policy, which was first mentioned in 2013 by the country’s leader Xi Jinping and is helping China to increasingly turn into a strategic player in the international political arena. The international forum, which was held at the highest level since the initiative was launched by China, presents a big representation of the world today, where the number of developing and emerging countries is growing and the economic power of developed countries is relatively dwindling. Although the "Belt and Road” initiative is becoming an outstanding feature of the world economy and many refer to it as the development of a new round of globalization (Globalization II), the political and economic differences and tensions seen at the forum from the beginning suggest that the extent and scope of activities and influence of the initiative have been exaggerated both positively and negatively and that still there is not a correct understanding of this new initiative. The current paper seeks to point out some of the forum’s themes and achievements and analyze some of the challenges facing China and their significance for international observers.